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Erratic Speedometer


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I have owned my 93 Esprit for about 18 months. About a month ago, the speedometer starting behaving erratically.

The speed shown appears to be recording fine as I accellerate until I release the gas pedal. Then, the speedometer will "jump" higher, and will do so with each gear shift.

Additionally, as the car slows, many times the needle bounces until stopped.

Any ideas where to begin troubleshooting this problem?

Edited by Cliff
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Guest glyn.harper

Hiya Cliff..

This could be a couple of things. Either the tripmeter or odometer is sticking, causing the speedo to behave erratically (as mine did), but more likely it's the plastic gear in the top of the gearbox that's worn. There are others on the forum that should be able to advise how to diagnose it exactly, but my money would be on the plastic gear. good news is I think it can be changed fairly easily without removing the gearbox, but I could be wrong. If it's the speedo that's broke, you can get them fixed.


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I know that some other owners have had problems with a bouncing speedo (93 - 95 cars). This was caused by one of the magnets falling off inside the speedo - these magnets are only held on by a light tack of glue. From memory they reckon it was an easy enough DIY fix.

Cliff - just noticed that this is your first post - Welcome to the Forum. When you find some spare time, maybe you can upload some pics of your car to the garage section of the forum. :P

Simon  (94 S4)      My Esprit will be for sale in late 2017

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You'll have to remove the binnacle.

Procedures a bit trick, but it will come off.

See 'The Esprit Fact File Site'

Esprit Fact File

Just a matter of finding the elusive 10mm bolt - can be a little difficult to spot.

Simon  (94 S4)      My Esprit will be for sale in late 2017

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Had my binnacle off a few times now to do somethings I shouldn't be doing in there :P

Its just 3 fixings, 2 either side where the switches are and the 10mm bolt.

I advise the best way to get it is to get a small 10mm socket with a universal joint knuckle on it then goto a short extension bar and a small ratchet. With the comfort seats you can lay down in the 'Lotus position' pretty easily (back on the seat, head in the foot well, feet in the air)

The other thing that really clouds taking this off and leads to a lot of people going "wtf is the bolt !?!?" is the large air duct going to the eyeball vents in the instrument panel.

This pipe should simply just pull out and away which easily exposes the bolt head.

It can be a pain but just pull it and prise the binnacle cover over the wood and the thing will come off, I find the screen is the worst obstruction to wokring in that area !

For what it's worth both my '97 Esprits had speedo changes, I don't know why they go loopy (sure Simon has more of a clue than I do on this) but both units were replaced in my cases at the factory....perhaps it was something to do with the fact they were pretty new cars? .....anyways if you get yours changed obviously make sure you document it fully (take photo of the old one) so that any future buyer dont think you've been clocking your cars ! The 2 previous owners of mine didn't bother so I had to chase a few things up before I bought them to ensure they were correct.

If you can fix it without a speedo change even better ! B)

Let us know how you get on - best of luck !

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Brings back some nasty memories - my speedo suffered the separation of the magnet - for a brief moment in time on the [private test track] I was doing 170MPH!

Its easy to fix as said - remove the binnacle, push the speedo out (its tight - a little washing up liquid helped ease it out), then remove the innards and re-glue with something tough like araldite.

Then all goes back together..

Except in my case it got slightly complicated by a keen relative pushing on the binnacle a little too hard whilst it was against the screen.. One loud bang later and a new screen was in order!

Be careful when putting the binnacle back!

Edited by Bibs
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In the early Stevens cars the lube they use sort of turns to a chalky substance the worm gear starts to bind and in some intances shear off.

The speedo comes out easy enough from the binnacle. The Speedo is crimped into a case so unless you have the tool to open them up it is hard to do a good job. Also it has to be recrimped to re-attach the glass and bezel. The crimper is similar to the type used to seal tin cans.

Most of us in the USA send our speedos to ATP in Minnesota or Palo Alto in California. ATP is faster of two as it has same day service at no extra charge. I had mine in at 10am and it was rebuilt by 3pm. They replaced the sheared off worm drive and jewel movement.

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